Problem of Religion

Problem of religions – people speak of faith as though it is knowledge.

When I read letters on news papers making reference to their faiths, I often see the same problem.  Lack of humility.  Few people admit that they could be wrong.  I thought arrogance is one of the cardinal sins.  A lot of people speak as though they know the truth and other people don’t.  I understand that knowledge and faith are not synonymous.   A religion is a belief system, a faith.  A faith makes us believe what we don’t know.  Faith is an admission that there are “known unknowns and unknown unknowns.”  It’s an admission of our ignorance.  (Hebrew 11:1)  If you know it, you don’t call it faith.  Therefore, faith requires humility.  In faith, we know we could always be wrong.  “I believe.  Help my unbelief.”  (Mark 9: 24)

If we could be wrong, how can we condemn anybody in absolute terms who believe in different ways?  So many people, in the name of their belief system – be it Christianity, Islam, or Judaism, or whatever – condemn evolution, freedom to choose, and different sexual orientations.  Some of them even commit violence or threaten with violence or death against those who don’t agree.  They behave as though they and they alone know the absolute truth.  Many people have claimed their god-given exclusive rights to other people’s  land.  They were empire builders from Africa,  Asia, Europe.  More recently the story has been repeated in Canada, East Timor, Palestine, South Africa, and many other places.  “This land is ours because my god gave it to us.”

Of course, humans have done the same thing for millennia, long before al Qaida and Taliban.  The church burnt heretics at stake, invaded “Holy Land” many times killing infidels by the thousands, forced Galileo to recant the view of the universe which is a common knowledge today, justified colonialism in the name of evangelization – “ to save the lost souls”, massacred and persecuted Jews, and took land from Palestinians.  Remember Cecil Rhodes?  He asked for more missionaries because, “They are cheaper than policemen.”  Many others have done the same in the name of their religions, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, even supposedly the most tolerant Hindus are just as guilty.  No wonder many recent best-seller books by atheists condemn religions as the source of evil.

I am a believer, have faith, therefore I know I could be wrong.

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